There is little in the literature at present about the lived experience of people with mild learning disabilities from minority ethnic communities. This qualitative study set out to look at this issue and to generate a deeper understanding of their experiences.
The author individually interviewed four adults with mild learning disabilities who were being supported by an independent living project. The author used semi structured interviews to gather data, recording the interviews and analysing the transcriptions using interpretative phenomenological analysis, an approach that seeks to make sense of how a person, in a given context, attempts to makes sense of any given phenomenon, for example a major life event.
The author found that the four participants all felt socially isolated and did not have a wide social network. They also said that they had suffered some form of abuse in the past. All reported finding satisfaction in their employment, but reported a lack of support with cultural needs.
Whilst this is a very small study, it clearly adds to the sparse literature in this area and the author suggests the findings highlight the need for greater emphasis to be placed on examining social support needs of people with mild learning disabilities to enable independent living without risking social isolation.
A qualitative exploration of the life experiences of adults diagnosed with mild learning disabilities from minority ethnic communities, Pestana C, in Tizard Learning Disability Review, 16,5, 6-13